How to start a new venture
We asked PYT Founder Jake Mott what he thinks it takes
This exclusive interview with Pretty Young Thing, a successful Funk & Soul night originating in Oxford, Founder & Tour Manager Jake Mott delves into what it takes to start a new venture & to make it succeed. It will discuss his inspiration, what helped out along the way & what you as creatives can do to begin your creative venture today.
What is PYT & How did It begin?
The disco revival is in full swing now, but back in 2016 nights out in Oxford involved either one of two things – terrible landfill indie or mind-numbing R&B.
And that’s when we thought: ‘does it really have to be this bad?’
The ‘we’ in that last sentence are brothers Jake and Alex Mott, and friend of 25 years Sam Buckett, who came up with the idea to take the music we love and play it to the great people of our home city.
A June evening in London’s Cambridge Heath was really the inspiration – a properly life-changing moment at The Arches, where we listened to proper old-school disco all night long and left wondering if Oxford would fancy something similar.
The next morning, Pretty Young Things was born.
It’s taken countless hours and a lot of nervous energy, but four years and eight parties later, P.Y.T has become the go-to event for anyone with even a passing interest in classic disco, timeless funk and enduring soul.
We’ve played at The Garage in Islington and even rocked our own float at the Cowley Road Carnival, but it’s The Bullingdon that has been our proper home that entire time, and – pandemic notwithstanding – will have us back again very, very soon.
WHAT IS PYT & HOW DID IT BEGIN?
What would you say is the most important aspect to remember when creating an event?
For me I try and remember how much joy & fun it gave me on that first ‘disco night’ we went to & try and re create that in our own events. I love seeing people having a good time, especially when a lot of the room is your own friends.
PYT was a success from the off- How did you establish a name for yourself within the music/club scene when you first started?
We had a lot of loyal friends that had faith in us from the start and they’ve been to every event since.
Working in the music industry myself you soon realise that a lot of people have your back & will back you from the start, because they know how much time and effort goes into creating these events.
How did you publicise PYT?
We started off flyering in oxford city centre, putting up posters wherever we could: cafes, newsagents, record shops. Really trying to use word and mouth to get the event noticed.
Paul Williams who runs the Bullingdon is a very good friend of mine, so he very kindly spreads the word and promotes PYT for us. We also rely heavily on people coming to the event having a good time and telling their friends – which has definitely worked for us!
What advice would you give to the people reading who want to start a new venture?
Just go for it, don’t be afraid to take that risk, don’t worry about what other people think. You’ll soon realise that the people that back you from the start are the people to keep closest. Yeah, your venture will come with ups & downs but it in the long run you’ll come off better. Nothing is an overnight success.
What do you think makes PYT different to other events? Is this why you think it was such a success?
What makes PYT different is that we feel it was really the first ‘proper disco’ night to land in Oxford. Growing up and going out in Oxford you would always hear ‘Mr Brightside’ & Queen. And let’s be honest no one likes either of those! We wanted to bring disco back for the younger generation and make people fall in love with the music that we grew up with in our households.
The success of PYT for me is loyalty. When I get sent through the ticket sales, you recognise the same names popping up and you see the same faces in the crowd each event, we love it!
So I’d like to say thank you to those people for sticking with us and having faith. Here’s to many more.
Love you x